Gastroschisis is a birth defect in which the infants abdomen develops outside of the baby's body. Gastroschisis is typically diagnosed during pregnancy.
What is Pediatric Gastroschisis?
Once a diagnosis of gastroschisis is made, the fetus should be carefully monitored and the infant’s delivery and repair is planned. Because the bowels have grown outside of of the infant's body they are unprotected. This condition is very rare, occurring in about 1 in every 2000 babies.
Great progress has been made in the treatment of abdominal wall defects allowing for a greater than 90% survival.
What are the causes of Pediatric Gastroschisis?
The cause is unknown but is not thought to be hereditary.
How is Pediatric Gastroschisis treated?
Surgery to repair gastroschisis is complex and should take place as soon as possible following the infant’s delivery to prevent damage to the intestines.
In the operating room, the intestines can often be replaced into the abdomen. Sometimes, because there is no space in the abdomen for the intestine, the intestines are covered with a specialized plastic sheeting called a “silo” and slowly reduced back into the abdomen. Once the intestines are within the abdomen, the abdominal wall defect can be repaired.